Blu-ray Review: Tim Burton’s Return to Playful Form with ‘Frankenweenie’

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CHICAGO – Tim Burton used to be one of my favorite filmmakers. His first eight films, from 1985 to 1999 — “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” “Beetlejuice,” “Batman,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “Batman Returns,” “Ed Wood,” “Mars Attacks!,” and “Sleepy Hollow” — made him one of my favorite filmmakers alive. And then he fell from the pedestal on which I put him, with over a decade of disappointment. I heard he had returned to form by expanding on one of his first visions in “Frankenweenie,” now available on Blu-ray and DVD. Almost. Blu-ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

I’ll admit that “Frankenweenie” displays some of the wit and creativity that Burton lost in his soulless work of the ’00s but I still wish he had made it 20 years ago. Just because it’s undeniably better than other mainstream animated junk like “Ice Age 4” or “Hotel Transylvania” doesn’t make it great. Only by comparison. To be fair, there’s a lot of fun, playful humor in “Frankenweenie” and, although I’ll be heartbroken when it wins the Oscar over the far-superior “Paranorman,” I’m happy to see Burton returning to that spirit that made him such an influential filmmaker. His original short for “Frankenweenie,” included here on the Blu-ray amidst some great special features, kickstarted that first phase of greatness. Here’s to hoping this “Frankenweenie” kickstarts a second one.

Photo credit: Disney

Unleash all the thrills as Frankenweenie sparks to life, leaping off the screen right into your living room in thrilling Blu-ray 3D - the absolute best you can get at home.

From Disney and creative genius Tim Burton (Alice In Wonderland, The Nightmare Before Christmas) comes the hilarious and offbeat, Frankenweenie, a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life - with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous. Complete with electrifying bonus features, Frankenweenie is alive with enchanting fun for the whole family in eye-popping Blu-ray 3D!

Special Features:
o Original Short: Captain Sparky Vs. The Flying Saucers
o Miniatures In Motion: Bringing Frankenweenie To Life
o Original Live Action Frankenweenie Short
o Frankenweenie Touring Exhibit - Explore the Artistry of the Film’s Puppets, Sets and Props In A Showcase That’s Traveling The World
o Plan White T’s “Pet Sematary” Music Video
o Digital Copy Included

“Frankenweenie” features voice work by Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, and Winona Ryder. It was directed by Tim Burton and released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 8, 2013. content director Brian Tallerico

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